2012 NFL Draft: Predicting the Landing Spots for the SEC's Top Players

Paul GrossingerAnalyst IIMarch 6, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Predicting the Landing Spots for the SEC's Top Players

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    The 2012 NFL Draft is coming soon!  Where will the top players from the SEC end up?

    There are many different possibilities.  Depending on how the draft goes, each player could end up at three or four different places.

    But here is a list of the most likely destinations for each of the top five players from the Southeastern Conference!

Morris Claiborne: LSU Cornerback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Morris Claiborne is the best corner back in the country.  He will be a top-five pick in the NFL draft.

    Claiborne is a play-maker with the ability to shadow receivers close in press coverage and get interceptions.  A team needing to remake its secondary will select him.

    The top-five drafting team with the biggest secondary need is Tampa Bay.  Ronde Barber is retiring soon, and the team does not have a replacement, so Claiborne is the likely selection.  

Trent Richardson: Alabama Running Back to the Miami Dolphins

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    Trent Richardson is the NFL draft's best running back.  But because of the drafting teams' needs and the devaluation of the position, he will fall to the Dolphins at the bottom of the top 10.

    The Dolphins are very likely to sign either Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn in free agency, which will solve their quarterbacking problem.  In the draft, they should look to compliment their new quarterback with an elite running game.

    So Richardson is an ideal fit.  

Fletcher Cox: Mississippi State Defensive Tackle to the Carolina Panthers

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    Fletcher Cox is one of the best defensive linemen in the SEC.  He will be drafted as a defensive play-maker to help in the Carolina Panthers' ongoing effort to replace Julius Peppers and repair their defensive line.

    Cox played at Mississippi State, one of the SEC's worst teams in 2011, but shined there. Teams looking for a future star at the tackle position will select him over most rival draftees.

Dre Kirkpatrick: Alabama Cornerback to the Dallas Cowboys

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    Kirkpatrick is the second-best defensive player at Alabama, and the second-best cornerback in the NFL draft.  He will likely end up with the Cowboys because he is a mid-first round talent and they have a dire need of a new corner. 

    The Cowboys have a number of play-makers on defense but their secondary was the worst in the NFL last year.  It needs an infusion of young, impact talent.  

Michael Brockers: LSU Defensive Tackle to the Buffalo Bills

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    Michael Brockers was the best talent on the LSU defensive line.  He was a pivotal part of LSU's exceptional 2011 defense and will likely end up with the Buffalo Bills.

    The Bills are still rebuilding their defensive line and, even with Marcell Dareus, they need more help on their defensive front.  Brockers would be a great addition.